Christian Hoff is a TONY AWARD ® Winning actor and singer , best known for his roles in Broadway ’ s The Who ’ s Tommy and Jersey Boys . Christian resides in Manchester , Vermont , with his family . His newest venture ? Radio host of 102.7 WEQX ’ s brand new specialty show , Jazz ‘ n TÖST .
WITH Christian Hoff
Sherman : Thanks for joining me , Christian . Let ’ s start with the basics . Where were you born ?
Hoff : Berkeley , California . 1968 .
Sherman : Tell me about your parents . Were they involved in the arts ?
Hoff : They both were very artistic . My dad was a hairdresser by trade , but he was multi-talented . He could build furniture , make music , draw , and paint .
Sherman : Your parents identified your talent at a young age and got you involved in theater , commercials , and television . Let ’ s talk about that . What was your very first audition like ?
Hoff : My first theatre audition ? I stepped into a room of 200 other showbiz kids . I didn ’ t know I was one of them yet , but I think my parents perhaps did . I stepped in front of this crowd with a ukulele in hand and sang “ Yes Sir , That ’ s My Baby .” The rest is history .
Sherman ( laughing ): And what was your first commercial ?
Hoff : It was a Hi-C commercial . I was singing and dancing on a playground .
Sherman : Do you remember the words to the jingle ?
Hoff ( singing without any hesitation ): “ We love Hi-C , ‘ cause it ’ s got vitamin C , and it ’ s great taste is the only one for me . When the gang ’ s all together , oh , how I love Hi-C !”
Sherman : I love it ! You were also the original voice of Richie Rich in the Hanna-Barbera cartoon . Can you tell me about that experience ?
Hoff : It was just great walking down those halls as the only kid in the entire studio . To my left , they were making Scooby Doo . To my right , they were making The Jetsons . I would go into a studio , and I ’ d be sitting in a room with Frank Welker . Any fan of Saturday morning cartoons will know that Frank did the voice work for Scooby Doo , Dollar , Dynomutt – you name it ! He would break into those characters in the middle of our takes just to throw me off and keep me smiling throughout our recording sessions . That was such a fun insight . It was my first view into just how surreal and wonderful being an artist could be .
Sherman : I know you told me that you did the cartoon voiceover work until your voice changed . How long did you get to voice Richie Rich - and what was it like when you were told that you would no longer be able to continue in the role ?
Hoff : It wasn ’ t surprising to me . I did it for about a year-and-a-half , maybe two years . We had banked a lot of episodes already by the time I finished up there . It taught me that there were going to be transitions and seasons in a career that I expected was going to be a lifelong venture . It got me tuned in to the fact that change was inevitable and that the ability to roll with it and redefine myself was a prerequisite for success . I think that ’ s true in life .
Sherman : You had some success in your teen years , but you didn ’ t have a breakout moment . Still , you decided to pursue a career in the arts despite that . That takes courage , desire , and ambition . Did you continue to go to school while you were pursuing your career ?
Hoff : I was in an arts program from the time I was eight years old to when I graduated from high school . It was called The School of Creative and Performing Arts in San Diego . I was in an environment where mentorship was key .